Kent Ramblers: Coastal Access

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Coastal Access in Kent

Since the Marine and Coastal Access Act of 2009 came into force work has been under way to create a continuous path around the coastline of England.  While primary responsibility for the project lies with Natural England, many others are involved too.  In particular, volunteers from the Ramblers survey each section and advise Natural England on the optimum route from a walker's point of view.  Local authorities are responsible for the work on the ground, especially new signage and furniture such as stiles and gates.

Perhaps most importantly, when the project seemed to be faltering around 2013 because of lack of Government will, the Ramblers launched a national campaign which not only saved the project but saw the planned completion date brought forward to 2020.

In Kent we have a dedicated Coastal Access Officer, Ian Wild, who has worked closely with Natural England and Kent County Council to ensure the best feasible route for walkers.

The first section of the England Coast Path in Kent, running 66 miles from just across the Sussex border in Camber through Dungeness, Folkestone, Dover, Deal and Sandwich to Ramsgate was opened in July 2016.

The route from Ramsgate to Whitstable has been finalised but not yet officially opened due to delays in creating a new path through the golf course at Kingsgate.  The route from Whitstable to Kingsferry is largely finalised and walkable but not yet officially opened while a landowner objection is dealt with.  The route around Sheppey is not yet finalised we await the decision of the Secretary of State on landowner objections which were the subject of a visit by a planning inspector in late 2021.  The route from Kingsferry to Grain is in the same situation.  The route from Grain to Woolwich was officially opened in January 2022.

We in Kent Ramblers have used our intimate knowledge of the area and the path to produce a printed guide to the first section of the route to be opened, from Camber to Ramsgate.  Details of how to obtain the book are on our publications page.  All profits from this book support the work of the Ramblers, without which there would probably never have been an England Coast Path.

We are busy preparing guides to the rest of the route.  If you have already walked from Camber to Ramsgate and are in a hurry to carry on to Margate and beyond, perhaps you woud like to help us test out draft sections of our new guides.  If so, please email books@kentramblers.org.uk and we will send you a couple of draft sections from Ramsgate to Margate and from Margate to Herne Bay.  When you send us feedback on a section we will provide another so that you always have two in hand.